Feeds

SOCA 'faces axe'

'British FBI' to replace 'British FBI'

High performance access to file storage

The Serious and Organised Crime Agency, created just four years ago and presented as Britain's answer to the FBI, is to be scrapped by coalition ministers, it's reported.

A Home Office consultation to be published today will propose replacing the secretive organisation with a National Crime Agency, which would include a new specialist border policing unit and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

The changes could mean a radical shake-up of how the internet is policed, although it's as yet unclear what would be substantially different about the National Crime Agency.

SOCA has responsibility for Britain's international collaborations on fighting cybercrime, which are crucial given that the majority of large scams originate overseas. It also acts as a central interception agency, tapping phones and the internet on behalf of police forces.

The restructuring would apparently also put paid to CEOP chief executive Jim Gamble's plans to take his organisation independent. It has so far been overseen by SOCA, but following lobbying the last government agreed to make it a non-departmental public body in its own right. Reports suggest that move is now off the agenda.

SOCA was itself created by the amalgamation of several existing police units in 2006, including the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit. It has since been repeatedly criticised for its excessive secrecy, and low conviction and criminal asset recovery rates.

Last month Britain's most senior policeman Sir Paul Stephenson criticised the lack of progress made on organised crime in recent years. He did however praise the Met's new Police Central e-Crime Unit, which has already had its small budget slashed by the Home Office.

The coalition's plans to do away with SOCA are due to be announced as part of the its policing strategy later today. The blueprint - "Policing in the 21st Century" - will also include proposals for directly-elected police commissioners and for the NPIA, the police IT quango, to be cut back. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.